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How long does it takes to read the sequences?

by Nicolas Lacombe1 min read7th Sep 20207 comments

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Sorry if that has been answered before, I searched quickly and could not find the answer.

To be more specific, how long does it takes an average reader to read all of the texts in https://www.lesswrong.com/rationality ?

I already read them all (more specifically the version on https://www.readthesequences.com/ ) but I am asking so that I can give an estimate to the people I recomend it to.

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3 Answers

R:A-Z has about 1600 pages. The heuristic I use is that most people read about 1-2 pages per minute, so my guess is it would take you about 20 hours to read through all of them.

2Viliam3moI would definitely recommend reading the book version instead of website, simply because it is tempting to read the comments below the articles, but the comments are maybe 10× as long as the articles. So in the time you could have read the entire book, you would be in less than 10% of the web. Also, 1600 may seem like a big number, but if you spend a few hours a day online, you probably read more than one hundred pages of text a day. And in 10% of the book (which you can read in a day) you probably already know whether you like it or not.

I read the ebook version in about a month, mostly in one hour chunks while riding the bus. I also stopped frequently to think about what I had just read, although I didn't take notes or otherwise study it. At a guess, I spent 75% of my time reading, or around 22 hours.

3Ashley Robinson1modo you know where i can find a copy of th ebook
1Raven1moHere you go: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1G0xr8EJb68p5FwtgLEM06Ji5jjdCRBE0/view?usp=sharing [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1G0xr8EJb68p5FwtgLEM06Ji5jjdCRBE0/view?usp=sharing]
1Mark Xu1mopay what you want of new edition of 1st book: https://gumroad.com/l/mapterritory [https://gumroad.com/l/mapterritory] entire sequences: https://gumroad.com/l/rationality [https://gumroad.com/l/rationality]

That depends heavily on circumstances including how often the one is reading, their interest level, whether or not they are taking detailed notes, how often they are interrupted and for how long (like 5 minutes or more like 6 months?), &c.

As a data point, the first time I read the sequences (about 13 years ago, before they were in their current format), it took me about 2 months to get all the way through. For reference: I am fairly extremely distractible, was working a full time job, had fairly demanding family responsibilities, found the material reasonably accessible and very interesting, and was not taking notes of any kind. I hardly expect the sequences were taking up more than half of my reading time, so I probably could have done it in a month or less if I'd been trying to make a project of it.

I also expect that it would take me substantially longer today. I've established a habit of taking copious notes on texts like that, and I now have a small child who demands a large portion of my attention when I'm at home. I am not less distractible, still work full time (though the schedule has changed such that I have more days off but my days on are basically toast as far as getting anything else done), and I suspect that I would have a harder time focusing on material that I've mostly already read. I'd estimate 3-6 months, but wouldn't be terribly surprised if it went longer. If I get around to actually rereading, I'll update with the start and end dates.